Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Saturday, September 30, 2006

or rather, in the sky again. I didn't stay out too late last night, I got home around 11:30 from dinner/drinks and finished packing. By that time, it was nearly 12:30 and I dropped off to sleep soon after that.

Canada's TSA equivalent (can't remember their acronym, CSTSA or something) did some right things and some wrong things. The line through security doubled back a few times, but it moved pretty smoothly, until I got there. No it wasn't me holding things up. :)

As I approached security, I took out my little mesh bag and put my watch, sunglasses, wallet, change, keys and belt in it and clipped it to my carry-on. As I got closer I untied my shoes and took my laptop out of it's case. I've done this before, and I always hate it when everybody else waits until they get right up to the security checkpoint and THEN starts going through their pockets and ridding themselves of the shit THEY KNEW THEY HAD ON THEM and KNEW THAT THEY'D HAVE TO STRIP IT OFF.

There was a family of three people ahead of me, a man and his elderly parents. English was not their first language (maybe the son's) and they were still stripping off bits and pieces as they approached the metal detector. I overheard the security jackasses telling people "it's ok, don't take your watch off" and "Your belt is ok". Then they go through the metal detector, it goes off and they have to get wand-searched and patted down. The mother went through first, and the girl waved her through to pick up her stuff. The mother didn't understand, so after waving her a second time, she held her arms out to be wanded so the security jackass wanded her... and found all kinds of things.. a belt, a coin in her pocket, a watch, glasses... each time she beeped, she had to stop, remove that piece and get wanded again. FINALLY she got through, and then it was the dad's turn. SAME DAMN THING. Wallet, watch, testicles & spectacles all had to get wanded. Plus he had a ciggy lighter in his pocket and when they took it away he got all agitated about it. I felt like throwing a loonie at him and saying GO BUY ANOTHER ONE WHEN YOU GET TO HOUSTON, YOU JACKASS. But it wouldn't have done any good, he wouldn't have understood me anyway.

As I boarded the aircraft, I saw that most of the first-class seats were empty. Goodie, I thought. Empty seats up front equal upgrades! w00t! Unfortunately, that wasn't the case on this leg. The upside is that I had an aisle seat and the flight wasn't full, so the seat in the middle of the row was empty. I ended up sitting next to a cute girl who worked on cruise ships, and there were six people who were headed to Miami to get on a cruise ship, so we all had stuff to talk about. I thought I heard them say they were going on a Royal Caribbean cruise, rather than a Carnival cruise and said "oh that's good. Those Carnival ships are floating trailer parks. They might as well paint the NASCAR logo on the smokestacks" and the girl (who worked on Holland America's boats) eyes got wide and gave me "the secret shut up signal". Oops.

Apparently she was a little nervous about turbulence. Flying was no problem, but turbulence made her a little nervous. I wish I had known that about six minutes earlier when, during the little safety dance video they showed, I made a comment about the lifejackets under the seats and said "Lifejackets? from Vancouver to Houston? If we go down, we're going down in the mountains!" D' oh!

So just to make matters worse (or funnier, if you're a sick bastard like me) the in-flight movie was $imdb(POSEIDON). The disaster flick about a cruise ship that gets rolled over by a huge rogue wave. I thought that was one of the funniest things I'd seen all week!

Saturday, September 30, 2006 7:44:17 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Travel#
Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's that time of year again, hockey season is right around the corner. Pre-season games are just about finished and regular season starts Tuesday the 4th.

That means that right around now is draft day for the... 10th? 11th? Annual Faccin Invitational Hockey Pool. Yours truly won first place last year, so I got the honor of picking first... I picked the first name out of the hat who got to pick first. I pulled my brother Steve's name, then he pulled my mom, she pulled me and then I pulled my other brother, Tony.

"FIX! FIX! THE FIX IS IN!" everyone shouted but it was all random. First pick out the door was Joe Thornton, last year's scoring champion, followed by Sidney Crosby and the I took Alexander Ovechkin.

The rest of my team was pretty good too:

  1. Alexander Ovechkin (WAS)
  2. Jarome Iginla (CAL)
  3. Olli Jokkinen (FLA)
  4. Alex Tanguay (CAL)
  5. Cory Stillman (CAR) (recovering from shoulder surgery)
  6. Brendan Morrow (DAL)
  7. Milan Hejduk (COL)
  8. Daymon Langkow (CAL)
  9. Jussi Jokkinen (DAL)
  10. Alexander Semin (WAS)

Ovechkin is going to be on fire this year, and at the very end I snapped up Semin as well, who's coming back from a Russian league and will probably be linemates with Ovechkin. Same with the Iginla/Tanguay combination. Iginla didn't produce as much as forecast last year, but he also didn't have much support... now he does and they should both benefit from it (as will I mouahahaha) Jussi Jokkinen is my "sleeper" pick. He didn't do too well last year, but his forecast it to improve by 40 points according to the Hockey News, which is nearly double his output from this year.

Now all I have to do is collect up my winnings from LAST year! :)

Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:10:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Hockey#
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Last April I watched all of season one of Lost over the Easter long weekend. I jumped right from season one to recorded episodes of season two. I got sucked in, big time.

After I started watching and became "in the know" of some of the various entities within the show, I started seeing and hearing references to a bunch of them in real life, having real/fake websites and actual books, commercials for the fictional companies on ABC, appearances on TV shows like Jimmy Kimmel's show, and that sort of thing.

I wrote about it at the time that like in A Christmas Story when Ralphie spends three months forcing himself to drink Ovaltine every morning to save up the Proof of Purchase labels so he could get a Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring. When it finally arrives and he decodes the secret message they read out at the end of the episode, it turns out to be an ad for Ovaltine, and the poor little guy is crushed.

I posited that The Lost Experience was going to be the exact same thing: one giant suck-in for their advertisers. I was right, of course and the big "winners" were Verizon, Sprite, Jeep and I saw a link to a TV blog this morning on Digg that spelled out the game in recap format and goes on to say "It could be argued that the word "sprite" was used more in the aggregate of game dialogue then the word "Dharma".

So there you go. People playing the "game" spent hundreds of hours on it, only to have a crappy ending that smacked of leaving the door open to a sequel, and the advertisers got hundreds of hours (per person, so that's gotta be a couple million hours in aggregate) of product placement.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 9:45:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Misc#
Monday, September 25, 2006
Wetpixel, a well-known underwater photography site posted an article linking to another site called Divepoll that aggregated a lot of known shitty behaviour by CD NN
Monday, September 25, 2006 11:58:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Links | Underwater#
Saturday, September 23, 2006

People who have known me since dirt was still new know that when I was a teenager, I worked in restaurants for a bunch of my formative years. I started in the dishpit at 15 and moved up to prep cook and then line cook when I was 17 and had worked almost the entire line by the time I was 18. I worked with a bunch of degenerates, but they were NICE degenerates. I saw the sex, the drugs, the alcohol, the more sex and more alcohol on a daily basis as well as a succession of Kitchen Managers and Assistant Kitchen Managers of all types and demeanors (I'm talking about you, Russ, you Irish bastard.. and I mean that in the nicest way :) ) So I know what 'being slammed' is all about: on a Friday night when the ticket printer just doesnt stop printing, servers are screaming for their food, the kitchen detritus is building up to knee-deep, the grills and burners are full, the commands are flying back and forth but in the end it (usually) runs like a well-oiled machine, cranking out a few hundred covers and enough adrenaline that when you finally finish around 1:30 in the morning you're too wired to go to sleep.

A couple years back, when Seb found out that I used to work in kitchens, he told me about this book that I HAD to read. It turned out to be Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. I read it. I laughed.. I laughed some more. By the end of the book, all those memories of Jeff the psychotic grill man, Franco the broiler, James the sautee guy who was a +1... anything you had done he had done one better.. Stuart with his Veronica Lake/Robert Plant hair, Mike the prep cook who got up and danced and yelled when he "shot" someone at paintball only to take about 30 paintballs to various parts of his body as soon as he did it and even Dave, the likable goofball who single-handedly destroyed half of the kitchen and burned both hands, two arms and cracked a rib when trying to do some "flair" on the line shortly after the movie "Cocktail" came out. I also realized just how much truth there was in the book ABOUT said sex, drugs, alcohol and rock 'n roll and that in my naive teen years just didn't see it, or blocked it out.

Last year Fox came out with a TV show based on the book. Right away fans screamed about how it couldn't do the book justice and that Bourdain was a sell-out. Out of curiosity I turned it on and watched the four episodes that aired before it was canceled (way to go again.. and again, Fox!) and they were actually quite funny. Sure the "plots" were loosely based on some events and characters in the book, but if you looked past that to a sit-com based in a restaurant, it was pretty funny.

Which leads me to the title of the post. In the TV show the hostess, Tanya, is a cute, complete bubblehead. Between my previous employment in restaurants, my experience as a patron of restaurants and most importantly, my recent interaction with a certain hostess at a certain restaurant, I've come to realize that the stereotype is well-earned. Thank you for taking a simple request to write something down and making a complete dog's breakfast out of it!

Saturday, September 23, 2006 8:29:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Food | Rants#
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Meet Mike. Mike is a friend of my little brother's. They started hanging out back in high school years ago and we haven't been able to get rid of him since... I kid... I kid... 

I've told the story of The Shocker more than a few times over the years,both in short form and long form. When I told Zac, Johnny Rotten & Seb on the way into town one night, the whole jeep was shaking with the boys laughing so hard. I hadn't seen John laugh so hard since the Elizabeth/Coneheads kissing scene. When that happened I was afraid he stopped breathing he was face down on the carpet laughing so hard.

Anyway, Mike came over this afternoon and I had the camera out so I thought I'd post this up here just so the boys could put a face to the story. Here he is in all his, uh, glory.

One of these days I'll post the whole Shocker story in all it's gory details (and I do mean gory, especially now that you can picture this guy within the story) when it's a slow news week.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 10:29:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Pictures#
They should write an article about that entitled "Rabid pseudo-journalists completely mangle the hand that feeds them"
Thursday, September 21, 2006 9:21:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [5] | Rants | Underwater#
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
"You kind of pick them up, rub their belly, scratch them, hug them,” Marcel said, “You might as well give them a smooch while you're out there."
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 8:14:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Underwater#
Monday, September 18, 2006
...gets posted on! :)
Monday, September 18, 2006 9:34:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Pictures#
...gets posted online and at flickr. :)
Monday, September 18, 2006 8:45:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Travel#
Sunday, September 17, 2006

I've made it halfway there with no serious snags yet. Unless you consider a seven hour layover in a boring airport a snag. This is the first time I've set foot in Texas since my exit from indentured servitude five years ago. So far I've wandered around the airport (pretty boring, even for an airport) I had some BBQ at one of the places in the food court, I'm upstairs at the Fox Sports Skybox having a cold Shiner Bock and watching about 32 screens of various Fox Sports channels (but not Fox Soccer Channel) and curiously, CNN rather than Fox News but it'll be a cold day in Cayman when I complain about that. :)


I've been here since 1:45 and it's3:45 right now. Two down, five to go. It's odd, I'm counting down the minutes of the layover... only to get on a plane and be trapped in a smaller place for another four hours. How does that make any sense??

Eventually it got dark out, I got hungry, and I wandered back to the Fox Sports Bar and had a bite to eat and then moseyed down to my gate around 7:30 or so. At 8:15 they announced that they wanted to double-check everyone's boarding pass, which didn't bode well. I got up there and they gave me a boarding pass, (I was on standby for this flight) so I called my brother in Vancouver and told him that I had a seat and would be on the flight so I would see him in about four and a half hours.

I boarded the airplane and found my seat: 6B. A middle seat. Awful. The plane looked pretty full, too. I sat down between two guys, one of whom had gas and the other just smelled of fish stew/soup or something and was just about resigned to the fact that it was going to be a crappy four hours when I heard my name being called on the plane's intercom and would I identify myself to the cabin crew. Great. I'm going to get bumped after all this and spent the night in Houston. Exactly NOT what I wanted to do. I identified myself and she asked me to collect my things and come with her. Not good. We got up to the galley at the front of the plane and she told me I had been upgraded to first class. WOOHOO!!

I stowed my gear, took a seat, had a glass of wine and settled in for four and a half hours of comfort. I actually slept for a couple hours, and woke up just in time for some fresh squeezed OJ and a landing in Vancouver at 12:15am. I collected my bags, met my brother and headed to my parents house... where they told me that they were still painting the bedroom I was supposed to be sleeping in but hey, the couch is really comfortable! I fell asleep pretty quick and slept through til morning... the morning of the stag party.

Sunday, September 17, 2006 8:29:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Travel#
Thursday, September 14, 2006

In about 12 hours from now I'll be climbing to a cruising altitude of about 34,000 feet on my way to Miami. After cooling my jets (literally) in Miami for about six hours, I'll be heading west for Houston and then ultimately Vancouver, BC. I leave here at o'dark hundred on Cayman Airways flight 102 and I don't arrive in Vancouver until 11:46pm local time, or 1:46am body time. In other words, I'm going to be completely bagged.

After a quick stop at White Spot, if they're still open, it's straight home and straight to bed, because Saturday is going to be a long day.

Orkley's getting married, so this Saturday we're having his bachelor party. No drugs, no hookers and no dead mules are allowed. Vegas was ruled out by his fiancee early on. When I said "OK, fine" she said "that was too easy... what were you really thinking of?" and I replied "Well, no one said no to Cuba..." and her eyes popped out of her head. Aside from the fact that it would be a huge burden for everyone except me to get to Cuba we decided to do something local instead.

Gentlemen, start your engines! Saturday afternoon we're going kart racing at the Richmond Go Kart Track! woohoo! If anything, I may have a slight advantage as I'm already used to driving on the left, so we'll see how that goes :)

Once we've had our fill of that, we're all heading to Sammy J Peppers in Coquitlam to refuel our tanks and have a few choice frosty beverages. Yes, THAT Sammy J Peppers, home of the skankiest-dressed waitresses in the 'burbs! woohoo! I promised Ork that I would get my revenge on him one day for the flaming lamborghini that put me over the edge into alcohol poisoning, but it wouldn't be this weekend. He seemed a bit concerned about that, but not as concerned as Michelle is about my speech... heh heh.

To cap off the evening, we're all going to carpool over to the casino on United Blvd. I don't even know what it's called, but it's a real-live casino and we'll finish off the night there.

According to the "Rules of Manhood" email that's been going around, it's a legal defense to kill anyone who brings a camera along on a bachelor party, but I'm going to take that chance. Besides, I have another website that's password-protected to post the photos in :)

Sunday will be  day of recovery, but not so much so that I couldn't drag myself to De Dutch Pannekoek Haus for breakfast. Their slogan is "The most beautiful breakfasts in the world" and it's not far off. Even better than looking at them is eating them.

By Monday I should be into the West Coast time zone and ready to go, and I may end up meeting up with some friends from here in Cayman who happen to be in Vancouver at the same time as me for some funk night or something at Bar None in Yaletown.

I'll post more as the week goes on, and especially if there are any shenanigans that need to be called out on the trip home. (I'm looking directly at you, TSA, when I say this)

Thursday, September 14, 2006 4:32:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Travel#
Saturday, September 9, 2006

My career is in IT. I spend my days answering phone calls ("Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?") rebuilding systems, monitoring system functionality, resetting passwords, installing new hardware, software and ordering up new machines to replace ones that have kicked the bucket and are not economical to fix.

This means that people assume I do it outside of work hours, too. People at work and outside of work, socially and otherwise call up or come sit next to me at the bar and ask advice, or how to fix something, or could I fix their laptop/desktop/home theatre/cell phone/toaster or whatnot. Nine times out of ten I'll say OK, and usually I'll enjoy helping someone out.

What gets my goat is when people call for help, ask for advice, and then question it. If you knew better, why the fuck did you call me in the first place? I was recently asked to help spec out a laptop for a friend of a friend who had been agonizing over the myriad of choices out there, and then the HUNDREDS of configuration options available once you decide on a course of action. I left my house and went to that person's office and had a little consult with them. What are you going to use it for? School work, but also for photos, music, watching movies, etc. What's your budget? About $2000. OK no problem, we can work with that.

I then proceeded to help spec out a 17" laptop with a nice screen on it, 100gb 7200RPM SATA hard drive, 1gb of DDR2 SDRAM, Dual-layer DVD burner, discrete video card with 256mb of memory, wireless G+ Bluetooth... a pretty smokin system. With a coupon code, it came in at about USD$1500. Since $2000 had been set aside, we were $500 short of that, so what could we upgrade? We went back through the configuration pages. Bumping up to a Core Duo T2600 from the T2400 would be a $325 upgrade, but not worth the extra expense, in my estimation. I'd have gone for more ram for half the price, rather than drop the $$ on the next processor up. Scratch that. We already had discrete video and a dual-layer DVD+R and the largest hard drive available.

"Well what about that?" was the question...

"Windows XP Pro? Do you really need an upgrade like that?"


"Do you know what the difference is between XP Home and Pro?"


"Then how do you know you really need it?"

"Because it's the Professional version"

At that point, I tried to explain the difference between a managed system and an unmanaged system, what Remote Desktop meant (with regards to Home vs Pro), what Group Policy was, what a domain was... None of it was registering.

"But I might need to join it to a network to use a printer"

"You can do that with Home. You won't need to join it to a domain, or they would have given you a laptop to use, suitably locked down, group policies applied to it,  EFS enabled and Remote Desktop configured."

"What does all that mean?"

"It means you don't need Windows XP Pro, you can use that $79 to buy a nice high-quality webcam if you want."

"You're SURE I won't need the Pro version?"


Next up was Productivity Software. In other words, Office 2003. There was an option to bundle in Office 2003 small business edition that had Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint and Publisher for $279. I unchecked that.

"I need that, though."

"Yes, I agree,but look at this:"  (clickety-click to Amazon) "Microsoft Office 2003 Student and Teacher edition. Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint, everything you need AND you're buying this for school, so you don't even have to feel guilty about buying the cheap student version. And it's only $119 instead of $279."

"Oh, they're exactly the same?"

"Not quite, they both have Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint, but Small Business has Publisher too. The only real difference is the license."

"What's Publisher?"

"It's a goofy desktop publishing program. It's like Word, but has a few more things you can do with it, as far as page layout goes, and it has a bunch of templates for greeting cards and signs and stuff that no one ever uses anyway"

"Well I might need that in the future."

"Is it worth $150 to buy a program that probably only costs $99 that you MIGHT need one day in the future? You could take that $150 and buy a nice leather case for your laptop, or even the rolling laptop case that has room for your books and papers as well as the laptop, instead of some software that you might not even ever use"

"Well I don't want to be without it if someday I decide I need it..."

Man I don't have to deal with that kind of stress when I'm at work and getting paid to take abuse!

Saturday, September 9, 2006 5:24:31 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | #
Thursday, September 7, 2006

When I came home from work today, I decided to go for a walk around the Safehaven golf course. It's 3800 meters, or just under 2.5 miles and takes me about 45 minutes. I end up getting back home just as the sun is setting, and after a quick rinse in the shower i'm ready to cook or go get some dinner.

To pass the time, I generally listen to my iPod while i'm walking. I have maybe a half dozen podcasts subscribed, and usually I listen to them while I'm working, but I find concentrating on listening to what people are saying, rather than just music, takes my mind off the exercise. I was listening to This Week In Tech tonight, which is four days old, but whatever. Usually they're right about on an hour long. I got home, and I looked at the iPod to see how far along I was so I could ffwd to there on iTunes and finish listening here while I checked my mail and whatnot.

What I didn't know that iTunes did that I instantly thought "now that's cool" is when I stuck the iPod in the dock and then double-clicked on the podcast, it started up at 52:13 automatically, right where I left off!

I just thought that was kinda cool and didn't know that iTunes did that. Now you know :)


Thursday, September 7, 2006 4:16:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Gadgets#
Wednesday, September 6, 2006

The timing is uncanny...

Last Thursday I came home and checked my voicemail (I had a couple missed calls, as I can't answer my phone while I'm on my Vespa. I could do it with my Bluetooth headset, but I have some behind-the-neck headphones that I wear instead) and there was a VM from Johnny Rotten, sounding drunk, saying: "Dude, call me. I have something to tell you, you'll probably find it pretty funny".

Before I could call him back, he logged in to MSN, so I said "Hey shitbag, what's up?"

He said "I got stung by a stingray today."

"Uh, heh heh, you did WHAT?"

Turns out he was holding a stingray out at Stingray City and he got knocked off balance by a large cruise shipper. As he was teetering off-balance,  another large cruise shipper knocked his legs out from under him. He fell onto the stingray, which panicked, flipped up it's barb and John fell onto it, getting stabbed in the leg before the stingray bolted off at mach 2. I couldn't stop laughing. I apologized, saying it probably wasn't funny, but he was the first person that I had actually met who had been stung by a stingray. He laughed too, but that might have been because of the four aspirin, five beers and six shots of Jack Daniel's. Or maybe it was four beers, five shots and six aspirins, I don't quite remember. In spite of all those "pain killers" he said he was on the verge of tears. He called Dr Denise and asked her if he should come in to the hospital, but she said as long as it was cleaned out properly there wasn't much that would do that he hadn't already done. According to his estimate, the barb went into his leg about 1.5 inches.

Last night I saw him at Calico Jack's, and his leg is still swollen, and the area around the wound had a squishy texture that I think is called edema. When you push on it, the indent stays for awhile. Like play-doh. Kinda gross.

Sunday night I couldn't sleep, and was laying in bed at 3am when the first IMs and emails started appearing asking me about Stingrays. WTF? I hadn't posted this yet, so no one knew that John had been stung yet. Turns out it was Steve Irwin. I read the article from an Australian newspaper that's all that had been posted so far and had a chat with Rich about it.

Since then, I've had a bunch of people ask me about stingrays so rather than type it all out over and over again, I'm posting it here instead. If you've come here from Google or something, and you're not my mother, my brother, or a couple friends who are usually the only readers of this, here's a little background on me: I've been living in the Cayman Islands since 1998 and was a SCUBA diving instructor for the first five of those years. I've been out to Stingray City and mauled/manhandled/wrangled the stingrays a couple hundred times and until last week, haven't even KNOWN anyone who's been stung by one.

I haven't seen the video of the stingray's sting on Steve Irwin, but I heard today that they might actually release it in the next few days, as grisly as it is. I couldn't figure out how it happened... the stingray's barb lays flat against their tail, pointing back. To get impaled on it by accident, the stingray would have to be swimming backwards pretty fast. They don't swim backwards. When a stingray is in peril, it lifts the barb up so it stand perpendicular to the tail.  Normally this occurs when the stingray is sleeping,partially buried, in the sand and their main predator, sharks, come up and try to chomp down on them. The barb comes up, the shark bites down and gets the barb in the roof it's mouth. It says OWWWWWW and the stingray swims away with or without the barb (they can regenerate them) while the shark doesn't get to eat.

What I'm trying to get at is the stingray's barb is a passive defense mechanism. There's no kinetic energy behind the barb. The penetrating trauma comes from the shark closing it's jaws on it, or a fisherman stepping on it in shallow water, or in John's case, falling on it. It will be interesting to see how the tragic mishap in Aus happened, if they do indeed show it.  They also didn't say what type of stingray it was that was involved, either. The stingrays we have down here in Cayman and at Stingray City are Southern Atlantic Stingrays. Their barbs do not grow to be ten inches long. I've seen their barbs up close and personal, and they're only three, maybe four inches long. They're black and they resemble a nail. A building nail, not a fingernail.

When the barb goes in, the spines create the entry wound and the whole barb goes in. Once there, as the stinger tries to come out, it leaves behind all the venomous goo around the barb in the wound (as well as making a jaggedy raggedy exit wound). That's what's causing John's leg wound to weep and suppurate still, as his body is fighting off the venom and trying to expel it.

What happened in Australia to Steve Irwin was a one in a who-knows-how-many million chance. First that he was stung at all by a stingray, and second that it managed to get him right where it did AND deep enough to cause fatal damage.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 3:12:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Underwater#

New monitorSweet mother of resolution! OK, Ok, it's not a full 1920x1200 HD resolution, but it's darned close. This is the new Acer AL2216W 22" widescreen monitor. I've been lusting after a 24" monitor for about a year now, since I saw Rich's monster 24" Samsung and then Dell dropped the price on their (then) 2405FPW to around $800. Then they came out with the 2407FPW and the lowest I've seen that drop to was $750 with free shipping. About two months ago I saw a post somewhere talking about this new 22" from Acer with some nice specs that was MSRP'd at just $399 US. That's practically pocket change!

I sold my 32" CRT TV and put the money aside for oneof these bad boys, but no one seemed to have it in stock or even know what I was talking about. Finally I found a listing for it at Insight so I called up our rep who takes care of our corporate orders and he looked into it for me. He called me back about 10 minutes later and said that they had 2000 of them in a container, but it hadn't been delivered yet. I gave him my CC# on the spot and it finally arrived on Monday. Bliss. It's big enough that when angled like it is in the picture, I have a big widescreen TV display when I'm in bed. Ignore the messy desk. :)

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 2:23:01 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Gadgets#
Sunday, September 3, 2006
Im kinda craving a cheeseburger. :)
Sunday, September 3, 2006 8:57:15 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
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